My 2-year-old daughter Ella is concerned that, with so many kids to check up on this year, you won't have time to do a thorough background check on her Nice-List qualifications. To ease her concerns, I told her I'd write a letter of recommendation on her (and her sister Anna's) behalf. Here it goes:
It is with strong conviction that I recommend both of my daughters, Ella Jane Klems and Anna Jo Klems, be placed on this year's Nice List. While I may be biased, I, myself, am also a permanent fixture on the Nice List and have been 29 of my 30 eligible years. (Rest assured that in 1985, I learned never to play hide 'n seek in the girls' restroom ever again).
Over the past 12 months, my eldest daughter Ella Jane has shown exceptional growth in her physical, intellectual, emotional and puzzle-putting-together skills. She adheres to her bedtime guidelines: putting on her PJs, brushing her teeth, hopping into bed without a fuss. She also marches the extra mile each evening by giving her mom, her little sister and me hugs and kisses—generally without us having to ask.
She's helpful around the house as well—bringing her tired, overworked father the remote control from way across the room; using her toy vacuum to clean up the surprisingly large number of Dorito crumbs on the carpet; taking the blame for anyone who is, as my wife likes to say, "dropping stinkies;" and more.
Furthermore, she's extremely generous. She'll happily take all of my pocket change and divvy it up between her and her sister's piggy banks. This not only proves she's kindhearted, but also that she's fiscally responsible. If that's not benevolent enough, she also shares the culinary delicacies that she cooks in her play kitchen, such as chicken stew, turkey stew, cheese stew, apple stew, spaghetti stew and fresh-strawberry smoothies. While I'm no imaginary food expert, I have to say her pretend smoothies are the tastiest pretend smoothies I've ever had the pleasure of sipping. If you like, I'll ask her to leave one out for you this year next to her annual batch of cookie stew.
Ella most certainly deserves many of the items on her list, including puzzles, undershirts and a hard-to-break digital camera—though please do not bring her the pony mentioned on line 12. (If you do choose to bring her a pony, please revise my Christmas list to include pony food and Zanex).
I'd also like to put in a strong word for my youngest daughter Anna Jo. She's been an angel ever since she joined Team Klems. I recognize that her Nice-List qualifications must be prorated because she was born in April, but in that short period of time she's become the most loyal, accommodating member of the family. When we ask her to eat, she eats. When we ask her to hug, she hugs. When we ask her to sleep, she—well, she's still working on that one, but I can assure you she's putting in a sportsmanlike 110%.
Her skill set has grown faster than expected. In a short eight-months, Anna has learned to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand and keep a majority of her bubbly slobber in her mouth. She grew two magnificent teeth that shine each time she smiles. And, unlike her sister and father, she has successfully learned to keep her eyes open in all photographs—a trait she likely gets from her mother.
Anna also raises everyone's spirit. On days when I'm severely depressed, like when my fantasy football team loses or the cable goes out, she's always there to console me with a smile, laugh and dirty diaper.
She most certainly deserves the items on her list, including a play phone, several car-seat toys and that set of Encyclopedia Britannicas. (Don't ask me, Santa. It's her list.)
Finally (and though she didn't ask for it), I'd also like to put in a good word for my wife Brittany. Throughout the year she has been kind, considerate and has successfully managed to put up with me, the girls and our annoying habits. She has done this all with a smile. I'd like to recommend that you put her on the Nice List—but definitely get her something off the Naughty List.
Thank you and Merry Christmas,
Brian A. Klems
Founder, CEO of Team Klems
The Life of Dad is updated every other Friday (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian